Why is it that because the new year is almost upon us I feel compelled to make a New Year’s Resolution?
I make them- and break them- every year.
I do think resolutions are important because they force us to hold a mirror up to our faces (sometimes a metaphorical one and sometimes a literal one) and reevaluate ourselves. We see all the potential we are capable of and, if we are honest with ourselves, who we are at this moment in time. Trying not to measure myself to the standards of society or the media or my seemingly perfect friends, (c’mon, everyone has at least one of those friends who seems to do everything you want to do and do it better), I make my resolutions each year to the measure of who I picture myself as being. The hip traveler. The flexible yoga instructor. The gourmet chef. The scrapbooking quezed hostess. The laid-back, fun mom.
The resolution I kept the longest was cutting out all fast food from my diet a few years ago; That July I was traveling and *had* to stop at a fast food restaurant since that was the only thing at the exit and the only exit for miles. Of course, once I had broken the resolution, I binged on fast food and my hips still regret it.
Losing weight, quitting smoking, saving money, lowering alcohol intake, exercising more, volunteering, managing debt, reducing stress, finding quality family time, learning something new… this is the top 10 list of new year’s resolutions according to The Baltimore Sun. I’ve tried almost all of them (I don’t smoke) and though my intentions were good and goals were manageable and achievable, I fizzled out. Wanting to be a better person is a good thing, trying to change is even better, but to actually become one takes effort. Is there something I’m missing to turn these noble goals into routines? Maybe I don’t really want to make that effort year after year? Do I really want the responsibility of becoming a better person?
As I’ve written this, I have been continually distracted by the adorable face of my 3 month old. I mean, who wouldn’t be distracted by this precious little person?
As I think on the adjustments I have made these past 13 weeks to make him a priority in my life I realize that I can do anything I set my mind to as long as it is important to me. I can live on 3 hours of sleep in order to breastfeed my son. I can keep a room clean so he doesn’t get hurt on breakables. I can put down a book in mid-sentence to answer my baby’s cries or see his smile. I can move the whole world out of love for my little man. Perhaps for him I can make resolutions and keep them. Going beyond my own selfishness I can make the small changes so that one day Jason will be able to have a mother he is proud to call “Mom.” That is a noble goal. One important enough to begin to make the lifestyle changes that have been thwarted by complacency. And television.
So what will my resolution be for this year?
My resolution this year will be a foundation resolution for all future endeavors.
I resolve to actually do what I say I’m going to do.
That means when I tell my husband I’m going to take out the trash today I will actually take it out. Today. Not tomorrow.
When I tell my friend that I will call her later I won’t forget.
I will pay my bills by the due date.
I won’t make a grand statement of action that fizzles out because it was too big to accomplish.
I will think about what I promise so that I know it is something I can achieve before I promise it.
That way when I say I’m going to lose 10 pounds I will actually lose and keep it off. When I say I’m going to do a project I’ll actually finish. If I say that I’m going to become a yoga instructor you’ll see that certificate in no time. When it’s time to discipline my child I will follow through with punishments quickly and consistently.
Doing what I say I’m going to do. It sounds so easy but is really hard. Hopefully by taking time to think critically about what I want and what I can do will help me to keep this year’s resolution. Maybe this blog can help. I’ll do it for you, for Jason, and most importantly, so I can be proud of myself.